Credit Suisse has hired Deutsche Bank’s top European company analyst and adviser in the latest high-profile departure from the German lender as it undergoes a radical retrenchment.

Kinner Lakhani, who also ran European financials research for Deutsche, will join the Swiss lender in Zurich this month as head of strategy and development. He will report directly to chief executive Tidjane Thiam.

“Kinner . . . is among the most respected voices in the industry,” Mr Thiam said on Wednesday. He “will work closely with our divisions and corporate functions as we drive incremental growth and assess opportunities to further expand our leading global footprint.” 

Under Mr Thiam, Credit Suisse has been shrinking its investment bank and expanding in wealth management, particularly targeting ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs in Asia, as part of a strategy to improve the stability of its earnings.

Mr Lakhani’s departure is another blow for Deutsche, which has suffered an exodus of its top people over the past few years as its investment bank struggled to make a consistent profit and defend its market position against increasingly dominant US rivals. 

In July the lender announced it was closing its entire lossmaking equity sales and trading operation but decided to retain its company research arm to support its capital markets businesses.

Mr Lakhani became Deutsche’s head of European research a year ago, succeeding Paul Reynolds who left for BNP Paribas. Other significant departures include Deutsche’s top financial institutions advisory banker, Tadhg Flood, who quit to join Centerview Partners around the same time in 2018.

Deutsche said Gerry Gallagher, head of European consumer research, would take Mr Lakhani’s role.

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Mr Lakhani made his name covering banks in a two-decade career with stints at ABN Amro, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup before joining Deutsche in 2015. He trained as an accountant at the London School of Economics.

His move comes against the backdrop of Mifid 2, a new regulatory framework that has shaken up European lenders’ research activities by requiring banks to charge clients directly for access to research. In the past it was provided for free in an attempt to drum up fee-generating business. 

The rules have prompted many fund managers to cut back on the amount of research they pay for, leaving banks and brokerages competing for slices of a smaller pie and reviewing the size and cost of their analyst teams.

Via Financial Times